CHANHASSEN, Minn., Nov. 7, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- Nearly five million people are now playing pickleball according to the latest data from the Sports and Fitness Industry Association and today, Major League Pickleball (MLP) and DUPR (Dynamic Universal Pickleball Rating) announced a strategic alliance with Life Time (NYSE: LTH) to continue elevating the sport through hosting tournaments and events at iconic Life Time locations, adopting the DUPR official rating system across all Life Time clubs, partnering on improved technology and offering shared marketing support.
"This is an exciting time for all of us involved in making pickleball a sport that everyone chooses to play – whether competitively, for fun, for physical and mental health, to be a part of a welcoming community or all the above. I've never seen a sport so unifying," said Life Time Founder, Chairman and CEO Bahram Akradi. "Through this strategic alliance among our organizations, we will take pickleball to the next level through elevated events, experiences, ratings and execution with one standard in mind – being the best. We are thrilled to be working with MLP and DUPR."
As a part of the partnership, Life Time will adopt the DUPR rating system and technology across all of its pickleball programming, making the sport even more accessible by creating even playing fields and providing best-in-class technology to run events. MLP will also be bringing at least two of its marquee team-based events to Life Time locations in 2023.
MLP has made news in recent months with its roster of new team owners including iconic professional athletes, serial entrepreneurs, best-selling authors and speakers, billionaire investors and more. As the 2023 season gets underway, the league will grow to 16 teams, double its events from three to six and surpass the $2M mark in player prize money and payouts.
"We could not be more excited to create this strategic alliance with Life Time," said MLP and DUPR Founder Steve Kuhn. "Life Time owns and operates the most pickleball courts of any company in the U.S., located within the most beautiful athletic country clubs in prime locations creating the perfect environment to host MLP events. Additionally, aligning with DUPR to provide the most accurate global rating system will provide immense benefit to players, regardless of which Life Time club they're playing at across the country. Together we'll see the sport continue to explode in growth as we aim to hit our goal of 40 million players by 2030."
Further details of the deal were not disclosed. For more information visit: MLP, Life Time and DUPR.
Multimedia assets of pickleball at Life Time can be found here.
About Major League Pickleball
Major League Pickleball (MLP) is the first of its kind professional team league and the standard-bearer for the fastest-growing sport in the United States. Led by Founder & CEO Steve Kuhn, MLP is committed to perpetuating the sport's larger role in society and permeating every facet of pickleball's business, marketing, and community relations. With iconic team owners, a co-ed team format, an innovative draft, easy to understand scoring, groundbreaking broadcast quality, and the highest prize money events in pro pickleball, MLP's goal is to elevate and grow the sport in everything it does. For more information on Major League Pickleball, visit MajorLeaguePickleball.net and follow Major League Pickleball on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, and YouTube.
DUPR (Dynamic Universal Pickleball Rating) is the most accurate and only global pickleball rating system trusted by the world's premier Pickleball clubs, tours, and professionals. All players, regardless of their age, gender, location, or skill, are rated on the same scale between 2.00-8.00 based on their match results. DUPR is free and anyone can have a rating.
About Life Time
Life Time (NYSE: LTH) empowers people to live healthy, happy lives through its portfolio of nearly 160 athletic country clubs across the United States and Canada. The company's healthy way of life communities and ecosystem address all aspects of healthy living, healthy aging, and healthy entertainment for people 90 days to 90+ years old. Supported by a team of more than 30,000 dedicated professionals, Life Time is committed to providing the best programs and experiences through its clubs, iconic athletic events, and comprehensive digital platform.